Warmer temps help road crews clear remaining slick spots
Posted January 30
Updated January 31
Raleigh, N.C. — Rising temperatures will continue to improve the condition of secondary roads in the Triangle on Friday, but icy spots could remain in some spots thanks to overnight lows in the teens.
Highs in the upper 30s Thursday helped state Department of Transportation crews continue to clear snow and ice from roads that we left behind by Tuesday's winter storm.
Those crews will be back in action Friday, checking primary streets for problem areas and then hitting secondary roads with salt and plows to take care of the remaining slick spots. No major problems were reported during the morning rush hour, and crews were expected to be out following the morning commute in an effort not to disrupt traffic.
"Friday we will initially focus on checking the main roads that were cleared Thursday, like U.S. 70 and U.S. 401, to see if any icy patches developed overnight that need to be treated," state Department of Transportation Spokesman Steve Abbott said Thursday. "Then it is time to hit the secondary roads hard, including those in local neighborhoods. The sun and even warmer temps will be a great help to the cleanup efforts."
DOT crews from Durham, Person and Vance counties will move to Wake County Friday to help clear secondary roads.
Highs Friday are expected to climb to near 50 degrees under mostly sunny skies, signaling the beginning of a warmer trend in the forecast, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. Saturday temperatures will reach the mid-50s.
"Our real arctic air is on its way out," she said. "We're in for a big, big warm-up as we head into the weekend, but we have some rain to go along with that."
Despite the warmer weather, slick spots on many secondary roads led several area school systems – including Wake and Cumberland counties – to cancel classes for a fourth consecutive day. See a full list of closings.
As many students return to school next week, what falls from the sky might be rain. There's a 40 percent chance of rain Sunday and a 50 percent chance Monday through Wednesday.
"It looks like we're going to settle into a completely different weather pattern, with warmer and wetter conditions," Gardner said.
High temperatures early next week will fall back into the 40s.